“Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.”
There comes a point in the life of Jesus when it is time to send out his disciples. He commissions them into service, gives them a message, defines their parameters, and gives them authority in His name. But before He lets them leave the room, he tells them some pretty odd instructions. Bring no money (gold or silver or copper). Bring no food bag. And don’t worry about packing a bad with all the clothes you may need. Just bring what you are wearing on your back.
This seems so counter-intuitive. If someone is rich, why can’t they bring a bunch of money. Why not go home, save up for a few months, and then hit the mission hard? I think there are a few things happening here. First, they are going to walk out in faith. They are going out with empty hands and are going to see very quickly if God has their back. Secondly, they are going to learn that God provides for His messengers. The messengers “deserve their food.” Thirdly, they have lost all excuses. Jesus has effectively taken away from the disciples any objections they may have about the mission. “I don’t have enough money.” “I need more time.” “I have to gather up the proper gear before I can go.” Jesus is communicating to them that there is nothing between them and obedience.
Now, this is true when it comes to gospel ministry. You don’t need money to fulfill the mission of Jesus. You don’t need piles of cash to make disciples. Angie and I moved to Flint and were told by different church planting networks how we needed so many partner churches and so much money before we could begin. The start up cost thrown around was in upwards of $200,000. They encouraged us to spend years in preparation to being the mission. But we disagreed. I wanted to move into the city of Flint, walk the streets, and meet people. I wanted to learn the city, be a light in the neighborhoods, and get to know who is already doing good work. We started that Bible study and it cost us $0. Nothing. We invited people to come and it cost nothing.
This principle is true about the mission. I have lived it out more than once, and each time it has proven true. This is true about gospel ministry, but I have begun applying this truth to other things in my life. There are many dreams God has put into my heart. Passions that burn strongly that I have put off for years due to any number of excuses. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. But I have begun to be a man of faith with these other things as well. What if the big dream could have a small beginning? Just entrust it to God and be faithful with the work.
This thinking of “Start Now” has led my brother and I to begin a new podcast. This principle of “Start Now” has inspired me to take my old novel off the shelf and begin editing anew. This principle of "Start Now" keeps me out jogging every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
So, for those of you out there with God-given dreams and passions, go ahead and swing. Why wait until the conditions are perfect? Cause the reality is conditions are never perfect. Life keeps on going forward. Why not give the dream a swing? There is a greater chance to succeed if you actually try. And if you miss, there is much more leaning in failing than sitting.
Next Week: First Steps